Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Emotional Roller Coaster

I don't even know where to start with all that's happened this week. I think this week has been by far the craziest, busiest week of my mission. Sister Bell and I have definitely been on an emotional roller coaster ride. 

Monday night we had planned to have dinner with a member family, and they were going to invite their neighbor, who they had showed the Restoration DVD to a few days earlier. We went over to the neighbor's house and sat on his screen porch and talked for about two hours. He had a ton of questions, about half of which we had satisfactory answers for. But we were able to get a return appointment with him for a couple days later. He's a good guy, but he's definitely not a completely normal person. Wednesday we went back to teach him again, but we brought the elders with us, because we felt more comfortable teaching him with them there. It was a very interesting lesson, I learned that one elder gets irritated very easily. But the other seemed to understand where the neighbor was coming from, so we're going to let the elders take over teaching him. 

Tuesday was Sisters Conference, and it was wonderful. It was a great way to spend my birthday. I couldn't believe how many new sisters we had gotten since my first Sisters Conference. There are so many of us! 

Katelyn and Sister Anderson, her MTC companion

Happy 20th Birthday, Sister Rudy!

Sister Rudy's mission generations

After Sisters Conference we got our new car. Elder Fenton told us to take the new one, and to give our elders our old one. The new one is a 2014 Chevy Cruze, so just a year newer version of what we already had. It took us forever to get the car and everything else straightened out so we could leave, so we didn't get on the road until about an hour later than we were expecting to. And then before we could get to the interstate our gps died! We got so lost. Finally we stopped at a Wendys to get some dinner and someone there gave us directions. We didn't get back to North Charleston till almost 9:30. The elders weren't very happy with us, they had to wait at the church for us to bring them the car for about two hours. We were really disappointed that we weren't able to teach our member's friend that night who is interested in getting baptized. 

And then Wednesday afternoon we got a call from that member, telling us that her friend had been in a serious accident at work. He had been in the bed of his truck unloading something, when a lady hit his truck, and he went flying out. She completely totaled both cars. The friend broke every bone in his face, and several ribs. He was in a coma for a few days, but he'll be ok, but it's going to take awhile for him to heal. So things with him are kind of on hold for now. He's down in a hospital in Georgia, which is where the accident was, but hopefully he'll be moved closer to here soon. 

Sister Bell and I spent most of our week going out to the far reaches of our area. When we got the new car, we got 1100 miles to use on it before the end of the month. So we've been going everywhere we've never been able to go before and trying to find people out there to teach. Thursday and Friday we were in Alvin, and we found a few people who were interested. Saturday we went to Huger, but I think there's about 20 houses total in that entire town, so no luck there. We've spent so much time in our car. It's really weird. 

We've been working hard this week. I feel like we haven't stopped going since we got back from Sisters conference. We've gone to bed as early as we possibly could every day this week. We're exhausted,but it's been a good week. Very stressful in some cases, but still good. I love the colder weather, but Sister Bell thinks it's freezing. She says it's because she's from Vegas. 

We're going fishing today at a member's house. That should be interesting. I'll be sure to send pictures. Thanks for all your prayers and letters, they mean a lot to me. I love being a missionary, as crazy as it is sometimes! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Amazing Birthday Gifts

This week has been . . . I don't even know where to start.  I guess I'll start with the most exciting thing that happened-we have someone on date to be baptized! Last night we went to visit a recent convert that we love.  She has a friend who she's kind of dating.  He's been in and out of the picture since I got here, but he's come to church fairly regularly and he's been reading the Book of Mormon a little bit every day.  Last night when we stopped by he was there, and he asked us what he had to do to be baptized!  We were very excited to tell him everything he needed to know.  He's scheduled to be baptized on November 16, but we're going to try and move it up to November 9, since we'll be up in Irmo with the apostle on the 16.  We're very excited for him.  Sister Bell was so happy when we left.  So now we're going to do our best to help him get a testimony; I don't think he really understands or believes in our church doctrine, but he likes the church and he wants to be part of it.  We're very, very excited to teach him. Wish us luck! 

We have a new district leader. His name is Elder Smoot. He's from Corinne,Utah. He's a great missionary. He's going to be going home the same transfer as me, so he's been out almost a year. But he's a few weeks younger than me. So I'm now the oldest one in the district.

We also got some very good news this week, that was almost as exciting at putting our member's friend on date to be baptized. The elders are getting a car! So we're splitting our area in half. Sister Bell and I were so relieved when we heard that. Because honestly, miles are probably the biggest thing that causes us stress right now. We can't go anywhere, our area is just so huge there's no way we can possibly cover all of it. And now that it's getting dark sooner, we can't do much at night without driving, so most of our miles need to be saved for the evening. It's really been frustrating us lately. But now the elders will be taking about half of our old area, so we'll both be able to cover more ground. Sister Bell and I are so happy. It was amazing because the night before we found out the elders were getting a car, we were talking with a member about how sad and frustrating it is that we can't get to all of our area, and so those people way out in Holly Hill and St. Stephen aren't getting a chance to hear the gospel. And then the next day we got the call about the other car! It was amazing. 

I feel like things are really starting to pick up here in Moncks Corner. Another member we've worked with is still doing really well. She even told us on Sunday that she wants to have us come over and meet her sister, who's not a member of the church. We've had a few more less active members promise they'll come to a No More Strangers fireside next month, and one is going to invite her nonmember friend. And we have a few members who have been sharing with the gospel with their neighbors and hopefully we'll be able to start teaching them soon. It's exciting. I'm very excited.

I'm excited for my birthday and Sisters Conference tomorrow. I think the best birthday present will probably be the elders new car, which we're driving down to them after Sisters Conference. And then we have a lesson with the friend that night, so it's going to be a great day. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Worth It

Transfers are this week. Sister Bell and I will be staying together for another transfer. I think this is going to be the last transfer I'm here in Moncks Corner. I'm glad I get to stay here a little longer. Elder Butters, our district leader is being transferred and our district is splitting since they're putting sisters up in Georgetown. So now it will just be the Moncks Corner elders and us.
We've had a little more luck with investigators this past week. We were able to teach a few people the first lesson, and they both agreed to let us come back, but didn't set up a specific time to do that. That's something Sister Bell and I are working on, setting specific return appointments, because if we don't then it kind of turns into a game of hide and seek, trying to catch them at home when they're not busy.
We had a good little miracle on Friday. We had an appointment with a member down in her area. We had about an hour of time to fill before the appointment so we decided to tract a little in that area. We don't tract there; we've just stuck to street contacting in that neighborhood. But we felt like we should tract so we did that for about an hour. And we met a really promising guy. He's in his late 30s, and he's already got a Book of Mormon and he was telling us about some of his Mormon friends from high school, that he thinks very highly of. We'll be going back and teaching him sometime next week.
The member is still doing really well. She's been to church every week for almost a month now. And she told us on Thursday that she's stopped drinking coffee. She says for some reason it tastes disgusting to her now. So that was a big miracle! She's really feeling the blessings of living the gospel in all the areas of her life and I'm so excited for her.
The elders had a baptism this Saturday, which was so exciting. His mom came and we were able to talk with her, and she was very impressed by everything that went on. She said she felt very warm and calm while she was in the church. A ward member, who's been a member for a little over a year, was able to baptize him. It was a really good day.
I'm so grateful to be here. I love Moncks Corner and I love being a missionary. As hard as it may be sometimes, it's so worth it. That's seemed to be something that's been coming up a lot as we've talked with people this week- sacrifice. I've just been thinking of a quote from one of the prophets, I think it was President Kimball, "As we give we find that sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. And in the end we realize that it was no sacrifice at all." That's so true about a mission. Yes, I am giving up quite a few things to be here and to preach the gospel, but it's more than worth it. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wonderful, Spiritual Week

We've had a very good week, although we weren't able to get much missionary work done. This past week we spent two days up in Irmo, for a leadership training meeting. It was for all the zone leaders, sister training leaders, district leaders, trainers and trainees. So basically the whole mission. There were 180 of us there, it was a huge group. The meeting was so good. I love my mission president and his wife. They're just incredible. We got to stay at the mission home and spend some time with them, and we had a lot of fun. In the morning we went and walked by a dam near the mission home, I'm sending you a picture of that.  


We also had general conference this week, which was so good. We watched it in the chapel at the church. Not many members actually come to the church to watch conference, most people watch it at home online or on byutv, which a lot of people have. A couple different times we've shown up for dinner at a member's house and they've had it on. Sister Evans, our ward mission leader's wife, loves Chef Brad.

Oh, this was a really neat thing that happened when we were up in Irmo. A group of us went out to a grocery store to buy something for lunch before the meeting started. And when we went to pay for our food at the register, the lady just rang it up and handed us our receipt. When I mentioned that we hadn't paid, she told us that a customer in the store had already paid for our food. It was really nice. We all wished we would have known who the person was so we could have thanked them. 

Getting the potatoes ready for LTM meal

Because we have to go up to Irmo twice this month, we're going to be very low on the amount of miles we have on our car, so Sister Bell and I will be doing a lot of walking. On Friday that's all we did basically. We drove up to Bonneau Beach, parked at the bottom of the area at a member's house, then walked around all day and drove home. That's basically how the rest of the month is going to be. I know that Heavenly Father is going to place people in our path who are ready to hear the gospel, and that our members are going to help us and take us to appointments when we need them to. It's going to be a good month. 

I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well. I love getting all your letters. I was sad I couldn't spend conference with you; it felt different to not be in Utah, where everyone is watching conference. I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Thank you for all your prayers.